Award-winning Author to Speak at annual Driggs Lecture

Published: March 21, 2011 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Dayton Duncan, award-winning documentary filmmaker, writer and historian, will deliver the third annual Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture on Thursday, March 24. Duncan will speak on “Preserving the Story of History” in the Great Hall of the Hunter Conference Center on the SUU campus at 7 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the SUU community and the general public.

Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns co-produced "The National Parks: America’s Best Idea" for PBS in 2009 to tell the unique story of setting-aside America’s national parks as special places, preserved not for the rich and famous, but for everyone. Duncan wrote the documentary and its 400-page companion book. The series consists of six two-hour episodes, with inspirational scenery, powerful wildlife footage and an engrossing human story that spans a 150 years, replete with heroes and villains, mystics, poets, journalists and scientists with hearts, and statesmen. As Dayton Duncan stated, “Deep in our DNA is the memory of when we were not separate from the natural world. [Going to a national park] is like going home.”

Duncan has been involved for many years with the work of Ken Burns. He was a consultant on several award-winning series for public television, including The Civil War, Baseball and Jazz. In 1996 and 1997, Duncan wrote and produced Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery and The West, a 12-hour series about the history of the American West. He is author of nine books on American history.

Born and raised in Indianola, Iowa, Duncan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 with a degree in German literature and was also a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy. President Clinton appointed him chair of the American Heritage Rivers Advisory Committee and Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt appointed him as a director of the National Park Foundation. He and his wife, Dianne, made their home in the small town of Walpole, New Hampshire.

The Howard R. Driggs Memorial Lecture honors Dr. Driggs as one of Southern Utah University’s first professors and recalls his work to preserve the trails and the memory of America’s pioneers and the Pony Express in the West. As president of the American Pioneer Trails Association, he worked alongside men like Ezra Meeker, an ox-cart pioneer of 1852, William Henry Jackson, pioneer photographer and artist, and Horace Albright, second director of the National Park Service, to preserve trails and history. The lecture is sponsored by the Howard R. Driggs Memorial Foundation, the George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Visiting Scholar Program, the Friends of the Sherratt Library, the SUU Honors Program and the University College.

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